Now that everyone has hopefully read the conclusion to The Night of the Owls arc in the pages of Scott Snyder's BATMAN, there's one development that still needs to be addressed. In BATMAN #7, the revelation was made that Dick Grayson was meant to be a Talon, one of the Court of Owls' assassins.
Batman figured out that Haly's Circus was actually a place where the future Talons were recruited. Those with the skills the Court desired, were taken and turned into their weapons. Dick's parents had been killed and Bruce Wayne took him in before that could happen.
Scott Snyder explained before where this idea came from. There is actually another connection between Dick and being a Talon. In fact, Dick actually operated under the guise of Owlman back in 1957.== TEASER ==
It was a story in BATMAN #107. Superman had found a lead lined box floating in outer space. He gave it to Batman to study but somehow a young Dick Grayson accidentally touched a hidden button that opened the box. What came out was a gas that caused him to become dizzy, but more importantly, made him grow "as big as a man."
Dick no longer had the body of a child. With Superman away, Batman was unsure what to do. When the Bat-Signal went off, Batman had to answer but Dick couldn't go along as Robin.
Dick no longer could fit into his Robin costume. Without knowing the full effect of the gas and how long he would remain an adult, Batman stated that it would jeopardize his identity if Batman was with an adult Robin the same time Bruce Wayne's ward mysteriously grew up.
Being an eager sidekick, Dick couldn't simply sit home while Batman went off to fight crime. Finding Bruce's owl costume for an upcoming masquerade ball, Dick decided to become a new crimefighter known as "Owlman." Owlman, as you should know by now is the identity Lincoln March took on at the end of The Night of the Owls.
Dick's tenure as Owlman didn't last long. Batman kept reminding him he wasn't an adult. He wasn't happy that Dick disobeyed his instructions to stay home. He even said he would "tan his hide" if he wasn't so big.
But Dick wasn't quite used to operating in an adult's body. This lead to his being captured by the bad guys. They even unmasked him but because the effect of the gas would eventually wear off, Dick would revert to a child and it wouldn't matter if his true face had been seen.
Was this just a big coincidence? Of course not. Scott Snyder is known to do a bit of research. It's no surprise that he somehow knew about or came across this old issue. This shows that while stories from this period may not have a lot of significance to the New 52 era, there is still a respect for these past stories.
Who would have thought such a simple and silly story could have resulted in one of the big revelations of Snyder's current run? It just goes to show you that all the past Golden Age and Silver Age stories could have an impact to this day.
Tony Guerrero is the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine. You can follow him on Twitter @GManFromHeck. He wonders how many times Bruce actually "tanned" Robin's hide.